Winter in the southern hemisphere is often the coldest season of the year, and July being smack bang in the middle of winter is no exception! This can make it a really powerful time for us to go within and allow us to take time to slow things down and nourish ourselves.
The winter directive is all about keeping warm, including eating warming foods and increasing more cooked foods in the diet, as well as making extra time to rest, nurture and sleep.
Winter is also a time for inner reflection and inquiry, which allows us to take stock of our inner world and look at where we are investing our time and energy.
I always like to take time in July to assess whether my autopilot response to the busyness of life is actually serving me and aligning me to my authentic self, or pulling me further away from it.
There’s a beautiful song by the band “Mumford and Sons” that goes something like this;
“Where you invest your love-you invest your life…”
I think these are such wonderful wise words of contemplation. I see the word ‘Love’ as;
“the desire to be kind to others”
And as we all work and live with ‘others ‘ every single day of our lives, it’s valuable to consider what and who you are choosing to surround yourself with.
The cold weather also calls for extra comfort and warmth and I find myself piling on the layers of clothes and spending a lot more of my spare time inside rather than out in the natural elements. This is a pretty reasonable response to the cold, let’s be fair, but it certainly doesn’t help with my fabulous tan! Or my vitamin D levels!
So what is vitamin D? Good Question!
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, which means that it needs to combine with fat to be used by the body system. It is a naturally occurring vitamin found in a few foods like the flesh of fatty fish and in cod liver oil. But the absolute best natural source of vitamin D actually comes from the sun!
The way our body uptakes this glorious sun medicine is via our skins exposure to the suns UV light, which then promotes the syntheses or uptake of vitamin D by the natural oils on our skins surface and then absorbs it into the body system for use.
We need adequate levels of vitamin D to help many of the major systems of our body to function well and to help make hormones. Another important use of vitamin D is to help our immune system function optimally, and immune systems can be notoriously challenged through the winter months!
Ensuring you have adequate levels of vitamin D through winter is a good idea and quiet easy to do. Firstly if you have signs of poor immune function, then contact your GP to have your vitamin D levels tested. You want your levels to be in the mid to high reference range of the test results. If they are lower than mid-range, then it’s time to consult your health care practitioner for a high quality practitioner range vitamin D supplement to help re-correct your levels.
Other hot tips to increase your natural vitamin D levels include;
- Being conscious of spending some healthy and safe time in the sun with as much skin exposed as possible for a maximum of 10-20 mins per day (or at least 3-4 times per week). Choose a time when the sun is not at is dangerous UV levels and be sure that you never let yourself get burnt!
- You can check the safest time of the day in your area when the sun’s UV is relatively low through weather sites on the internet. Of course depending on where you live in the world, the safe sun times will vary, so if you are not sure play it safe and aim for before 8am and after 4 or 5pm depending on the season.
- Remember that vitamin D needs to be synthesised into your body by your skin, and the absorption process can take up to 24 hours or more. So be mindful of things like sunscreens, makeups, soaps and other body products, which can inhibit the synthesising of vitamin D through your skin by blocking the sun UV rays and can also remove the natural oils from your skin, limiting the absorption of vitamin D.
- Always look for skin products that have ingredients that would be good enough for you to eat- remembering that your skin is one of your largest organs and will absorb whatever you put onto it.
So if you’re lucky enough to see some beautiful winter sun, be sure to get basking, uninhibited by clothes, sunscreens, oils and creams for a good 10-20mins and be like a rotisserie haha!
And remember soap is for the private parts only, give that glorious vitamin D a chance to soak in through all those layers of skin & maximize its efficiency.
You’ll feel warmer, stronger and healthier for it.
Any questions or comments let me know below.
Big warm, fuzzy, healthy, heartfelt love coming at cha,